Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Lewis Black is back in the Pioneer Valley

By Tappan Parker

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When looking for comedy, most wouldn’t pay money to see an angry old guy yell and swear at you in the form of an angry rant about all the problems in today’s modern society. Generally, we go to our grandparents for that. But thousands in the Pioneer Valley will be paying to see Lewis Black rant and rave this weekend at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, who is stopping by on his current tour, titled “In God We Rust.” Black will be performing tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Black is known for pointing out the wrongs in society today that frustrate him, and turning these frustrations into something for his audience to laugh at.

He is well known for his numerous stand-up specials, as well as his appearances on the Daily Show, where he hosts a segment called “Back in Black.” He also briefly hosted a show on Comedy Central called “The Root of All Evil.” He is one of the most highly regarded stand-up comedians out there, parading a style of comedy where he often goes on angry tirades, much to the amusement of his fans. Black emphasizes heavy doses of sarcasm, profanity and hyperbole in his stand-up.

When Black is onstage, he yells about anything and everything, from politics to pop culture to college students to Apple. Almost every subject Black touches upon will send him into a fit of rage and often it seems as though he is at the point of having a stroke or a mental breakdown as he performs.

Yet Black delivers very intelligent comedy. He makes fantastic points about political pundits and things that culture and the media could be doing better. He leaves his fans better informed about the world, while at the same time leaving them with sore ribs from being unable to stop laughing.

Black has hosted a number of stand-up specials in the last decade, including his “Red, White, and Screwed” special and “Taxed Beyond Belief.” He has also been responsible for hosting a number of televised events, including a 2008 documentary on “The History of the Joke” on the History Channel. He even wrote a book, called “Me of Little Faith,” which was also released in 2008. Black’s last comedy tour, called “Let Them Eat Cake,” was in support of his book.

Black previously performed in the Valley during UMass’ First Week in 2002, 2004 and 2007. His performances here have been well-received, with occasional mishaps with hecklers in the crowd. However, Black has handled all of these with the poise and grace that has come to be expected of him, by getting angry, shouting at the hecklers, and ultimately belittling those who would dare shout dumb things at him.

Lewis Black will be performing at the Calvin Theater tonight and tomorrow, Friday the 19 and Saturday the 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available online for $47.50.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]

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